The Revenge of the Shadow King (Grey Griffins Series #1)

The Revenge of the Shadow King (Grey Griffins Series #1)

4.7 63
by Derek Benz, J. S. Lewis
     
 

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Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia--who form the secret club The Grey Griffins--seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in

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Overview

Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia--who form the secret club The Grey Griffins--seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max's backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it's up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town-indeed, their world.

A thrilling legend is born in the first book of the Grey Griffin's magical adventures.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Max, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia make up the Grey Griffins, a group of four friends who enjoy a trading card game called Round Table. Each of the Griffins fulfills the role of schoolyard stereotype: from the tough and self-assured Harley, to the scared and geeky Ernie, to the brainy-girl Natalia. Max, as the hero of the novel, has a slightly better developed character, but basically he fits the stereotype of a popular, rich kid. As the novel progresses, the friends begin to realize that the Round Table game is based on real characters and events from history and, disturbingly, that these characters have started to enter the mortal world again. References to the legends of King Arthur, the Knights Templar, and the world of fairies abound. Although imaginative, this fantasy lacks depth, as it fails to connect with the larger questions asked by great fantasy literature. Nevertheless, the story's fast-paced, adventure plot is compelling, and the characters, despite being stereotypical, are engaging. Overall, the book is a good read, even if it is not great literature. 2005, Orchard Books/Scholastic Inc, Ages 12 to 16.
—Laura Ruttig
VOYA
Snooping in his late grandfather's study one night, eleven-year-old Max stumbles across a magic book, setting the stage for an ancient evil to descend upon his small Minnesota town. The book, known as the Codex Spiritus, has a long history dating back to King Arthur, when a secret order of Knights was formed to keep the dark power of the Shadow King contained. A convoluted explanation involving Christopher Columbus and a Dungeons & Dragons-like card game reveals that the evil of the Codex may soon escape. Max and his three friends, known as the "Grey Griffins," are all that stand in the way of the coming apocalypse. This fantasy, clearly intended to appeal to fans of Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, offers clever concepts with strong appeal to middle school students, including a slime-spewing fountain and cute yet surprisingly dangerous garden faeries. But flat characterization and too many subplots detract from the story. There is enough mystery to keep readers engaged, although at times just barely. Mounting suspense is often overshadowed by unnecessary explanations and characters who seem to come from nowhere and quickly disappear, including a loathsome principal and the sidekick of the school bully. Still the portrayal of a dark and evil world slowly leaking into everyday, small-town life is both believable and creepy. The first in the Grey Griffins series, this title will likely find a home with younger teens, particularly fans of Dungeons & Dragons or other role-playing games. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P M (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8). 2005, Orchard, 370p., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 14.
—Paula Brehm-Heeger
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Weird things are happening in tiny Avalon, Minnesota in this predictable novel by Derek Benz (Orchard, 2006). Goblins, fairies, and unicorns have begun to appear to Max Summer and his fellow Grey Griffin Club members. The Grey Griffins and the elderly proprietor of the Shoppe of Antiquities participate in a role-playing card game involving characters from Arthurian legend. Max and his friends seem to be the only people in town who realize that the characters have come to life. It's up to the Grey Griffins, with help from a few adults, to save the world from the evil that has been unleashed. The dialogue is mind-numbingly dull, and even narrator Erik Steele has a difficult time bringing the characters to life. The main characters are stereotypically the rich kid, the tough kid, the whiny kid, and the smart girl. The plot is more Scooby-Doo than fantasy.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A collectible card game introduces Max and his friends to the battle against ancient evil in this undistinguished but entertaining series opener. Grandfatherly shopkeeper Iver has sold the four a rare card game in which they fight goblins, faeries and the powerful Shadow King. It's only a game at first, but soon their town of Avalon, Minn. is plagued with horrors. Max finds a magical book, real goblins attack and Iver vanishes. Along with spunky Natalia, poor Harley and cowardly Ernie, Max determines to defeat the Shadow King. Luckily, he's the one true heir to powerful magical ability, born to make a stand in the age-old fight against evil-perhaps in the Gothic temple in town, built by Templars 500 years before Europeans came to the New World. Constant danger and some humor keep this adventure moving despite clunky prose. Not a bad option for fans of the genre. (Fantasy. 9-12)First printing of 50,000

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439795746
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
03/01/2006
Series:
Grey Griffins Series, #1
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.24(h) x 1.25(d)
Lexile:
860L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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